Sunday, October 24, 2010

El Escándalo!

What comes to mind when you read about camera crews, video camera equipment, and whispering of spies? No, not another TMZ coverage of yet another Lindsay Lohan court appearance... This article describes the anguish and denial Robert Estrada, former holder of the "World's Biggest Enchilada", feels as he learns of Mexico City's 230-foot long record-winning enchilada on October 17th, 2010.

“If God dwells inside us like some people say, I sure hope He likes enchiladas, because that's what He's getting” ~Jack Handey of "Deep Thoughts"

Border Faceoff: Who's Got the Biggest Enchilada?

Published October 22, 2010
Fox News Latino

It’s the phone call every Guinness record-holder dreads, and for Robert Estrada, it came Sunday, Oct. 17.

"You lost the world record," a friend rang to say. That day, the residents of Iztapalapa, a Mexico City borough, had cooked their way into the records book with a 230-foot long enchilada, topping Estrada's previous 2000 record.

But judging by a story by the Las Cruces Sun News which was later picked up by The Associated Press, Estrada believes his home of Las Cruces, N.M. is still a record-holder: His certificate names him the creator of the world's largest, flat, three-layeredenchilada. Mexico City's version was rolled.

"It's not the same category that I'm in," said Estrada. "It's different."

Estrada told Fox News Latino he's been trying to reach Guinness for a week in order to get clarification.

In an email with Fox News Latino, a Guinness World Records spokesperson was crystal clear. "We do not have separate categories for different types of enchiladas," she wrote.

Estrada's enchilada, which he recreates each year, is about 10.5 feet in diameter and takes 750 pounds of corn, 175 pounds of grated cheese, 50 pounds of chopped onions and 75 gallons of red chile sauce. The same ingredients that, in smaller quantities, Estrada uses daily at his restaurant, Roberto's.

The giganto-chilada can feed up 5,000 people and does so annually, as the centerpiece of the three-day The Whole Enchilada Fiesta, which celebrated its 13th anniversary in September.

Las Cruces resident Barbara Marta said that in southern New Mexico, where Las Cruces is located, the flat enchilada is preferred. Rolled enchiladas are more common in Mexico and northern New Mexico.

"And of course, the taste of the chile—there's no comparison," she said.

In October 2000, when Estrada set out to establish the record, there was a lengthy documentation process. All the ingredients were weighed; senators, the mayor, law enforcement and U.S. representatives acted as witnesses, and the event was video taped and photographed extensively, he said. The enchilada was even measured by satellite, which sized the its circumference at 33.89 feet.

It's achievement was a point of pride, said Christine Rogel, a Las Cruces Sun-News reporter who interviewed Estrada for the story. "This is something that has been part of the community for so long."

Estrada has long been leery of losing his crown. He said he's heard whisperings of spies looking to uncover his process during this year's fiesta.

"There were a lot of people there that told me there were some people from Mexico using video camera equipment and taping us while they were making it," Estrada said. He also received reports of camera crews from Mesa, Ariz.

But folks looking to steal his secrets might want to save the effort.

"At one point Robert Estrada was the record holder for largest enchilada," the Guinness spokesperson wrote. "But since then our guidelines have changed, and we now only accept the tradition rolled enchilada for this category."


Zach at the "Pittsburgh Penguins" game in Nashville, Tennessee!

Here is a compilation picture of Zach and players from the "Pittsburgh Penguins" taken after the Pittsburgh Penguins played the Nashville Predators on October 21st of this year. Zach is posing with players from the Penguins, including his hero: goalie "Marc-Andre Fleury". Sidney Crosby is currently the top player in the NHL; he scored the game-winning goal during the Olympics for Canada! In the top left picture you can see Zach and his dad (Kevin) laughing as Malkin (#71) smooshes TooToo (#22) against the glass! This was Zach's fourth time meeting with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and he had a great time talking with the players!

Zach playing hockey... He wants to be a goalie one day!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dreams Really Do Come True... For Those in Mexico City!

I came across this article tonight, and I just had to share it with everyone! For those of you who know me well, you know I love (is love really a strong enough word?) Mexican food, so imagine my delight at the following:

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Mexico City borough went for the whole enchilada — and got it!

Residents of Iztapalapa cooked up a 230-foot-long (70-meter-long), almost 1½-ton enchilada Sunday. Guinness record official Ralph Hannah announced that it was the world's biggest. The colossal concoction was made of corn tortillas, white onions, serrano chilis, green tomatoes, avocado, cheese, cream and a sea of salsas, among other ingredients. "With this Guinness record we are showing the world that Iztapalapa is a high-level tourist destination," said Mexico City tourism secretary Alejandro Rojas.

"Chefs prepare the world's largest 'Enchilada', a traditional Mexican food, during the National Enchilada Fair at the neighborhood of Iztapalapa in Mexico City, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010. The enchilada, measuring 70 meters long and 1,416 kgs, entered the famous Guinness Record book Sunday. (Marco Ugarte / AP) "
"A boy waits to be served a portion of the world's largest 'Enchilada', a traditional Mexican food, during the National Enchilada Fair at the neighborhood of Iztapalapa in Mexico City, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010. The enchilada, measuring 70 meters long and 1,416 kgs, entered the famous Guinness Record book Sunday. (Marco Ugarte / AP)"
"Chefs prepare the world's largest 'Enchilada', a traditional Mexican food, during the National Enchilada Fair at the neighborhood of Iztapalapa in Mexico City, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010. The enchilada, measuring 70 meters long and 1,416 kgs, entered the famous Guinness Record book Sunday. (Marco Ugarte / AP) "

Unfortunately, our family was unaware of unable to attend the enchilada festivities in Mexico City today! However, those who know me and love me (certainly love is a strong enough word to use here!) best can attest to the fact that from the moment of conception; I have done my best to instill a love for Mexican food in my children! Just look at the picture posted above: Graden heartily enjoying a taco bigger than his own head as a young boy! And who else would name their cats Gordo, Pancho, and Tucson?! Do you like chimichangas, cats? I mean, do you really like chimichangas, cats?!

Reckon all y'all have to be from Tucson, AZ to get that last one?

                  Who can forget the tasty red chili con carne, or the teeny-tiny chicken enchiladas that were rolled tighter than taquitos? Look at the plate and serving bowls! Maybe that is why my family is eating off Fiesta Ware dishes in the South- and just looking at that picture makes me want to order the paprika collection for my own home! Oddly enough, I just now notice that the plate, beans, taco, rice, tamales, and chile con carne all seem to blend together?!

It was always a tough choice though... While Gordo's was definitely my favorite; the novelty of going to Pancho's and being able to "Raise the Flag" when you were ready for more was definitely fun too! Plus, Pancho's had a soft-serve machine, I didn't have to settle for sopapillas & honey for dessert... 

Friday, October 15, 2010

"Homecoming Parade"

Here is the beginning of the "Homecoming Parade"; it was such a wonderful experience for everyone involved! Mrs. Wanda (the School Resource Officer) led the parade with her husband in the police car while letting her sirens roar! The children loved it!

Graden and Elizabeth proudly carry their sign during the parade! They are "Tigeriffic" together!!

Does anyone else notice that Graden and Elizabeth look so similar? What is so cute is that they have picked up on each other's mannerisms as well...

Gibson takes a break from watching the parade to wave to the camera...

Proudly wearing his "Tiger Paw" spirit necklace; Gibson's attention is turned back to the parade once again!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Graden's "Class Favorites" Poster

Today Graden and his close friend Elizabeth posed beside their "Class Favorites" poster. They were each voted as the boy/girl class favorite of their 2nd grade class; tomorrow they will march together in the "Homecoming Parade" holding the sign.

Here is another picture of these two cuties!

Here is the class picture! Such a good looking group...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Nightmare On Hatley Road"

Our school is having a "Door-Decorating Spirit Contest" which involved, of course, decorating our classroom doors to show the "tigers" (us) beating the "wildcats" (them). We came up with the following for our door:

Can you guess yet which movie this was ripped off from?!

I take full credit for those lyrics; the Mr. Rogers putting on the Freddy Krueger sweater I found on the internet and couldn't pass up!

Notice the "R.I.P. Wildcats Oct. 15, 2010"? Complete with little "bloodified-wildcats"? Can you tell I was raised on and addicted to horror films as a child?  ;) And now, for your amusement...

Today Was "Parents Eat With Your Kindergartener" Day!

Today I was able to enjoy lunch with Gibson during his lunchtime! Our school had "Parents Eat With Your Kindergartener" Day! I am sure that wasn't the official title, but it sums it up nicely...

Isn't he just the cutest Kindergartener of 2010-2011 you have ever seen? Yes, I thought you would agree! In that case, enjoy another picture of my cutie-pie...

John "Gibson" Jarrell ~ Class of 2023

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I found an interesting article this evening written by Todd Smith, entitled "Your Words Reflect Your Character". I believe it is a timely piece; I pray it touches your heart as it touched mine!

If you are old enough to read this post, I am sure you have experienced what it feels like to have people talk behind your back. When this happens to you, how does it make you feel towards the person who spoke poorly of you?

Your Words Are a Mirror

What we say about others reflects on our own character. Specifically, when we speak unfavorably of others, it not only hurts the person our words are aimed at, but it also damages our credibility and reputation in the process.

Richard Carlson put it this way: “ When we judge or criticize another person, it says nothing about that person; it merely says something about our own need to be critical.”

When we speak negatively about someone else, others often perceive it as a ploy for our own personal gain.

When our words persuade others to our point of view as to the faults and shortcomings of someone who is not present, we are taking unfair advantage of that person. This holds true whether we’re talking about an individual, a group, or a business.

The Critical Cashier

For example, last week, I was in my local supermarket picking up a bag of ice. I took a shortcut through one of the empty lanes to get to the service desk since I was only purchasing one item.

A cashier happened to be in that lane and said he could help me. I told him I didn’t realize his lane was open because he was standing off to the side. He proceeded to tell me about the “stupid policies” of the store. He ranted about various things during my purchase and spoke nothing but ill of his employer.

All the time he was unloading his personal dissatisfaction, I was questioning his motives and forming my impression of him—and it wasn’t a good one! I immediately summed him up as an inconsiderate employee who failed to see himself as a store representative with an obligation to act and speak accordingly.

Positivity Is Good for Your Reputation

It is also important to keep in mind that where your attention goes, so goes you’re your emotional energy. Focus on positive things and your life will be positive; focus on negative things and your life will be negative. When you say destructive things about others, your emotional energy is also negatively affected.

On the other hand, when you brand yourself as someone who refrains from speaking disapprovingly of others, not only will people’s respect for you grow, but you will also be happier. When you hold back saying something negative about someone else—especially when given the opportunity—you exemplify self-control and concern for others.

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” Dale Carnegie

Do not, however, confuse speaking of someone in a derogatory way with participating in a formal critique, such as job performance reviews or when you are asked to point out deficiencies for the purpose of helping someone improve in certain areas. In these instances, use tact and diplomacy to focus on performance issues and always avoid personal attacks.

Tips for Avoiding Negative Conversations

•Refuse to engage in negative conversations about others.

•Refuse to be part of groups who speak poorly of others. Remember that if you are surrounded by people who thrive on cutting others down, it may be time for you to reconsider with whom you spend your time.

•Avoid making negative or unflattering comments about other people by remembering that your comments influence people’s views of you.

Sometimes figuratively (and sometimes literally) I bite my tongue when I am on the verge of saying something negative. I do so knowing that quelling the urge to speak my mind on impulse helps me show consideration for others, uphold my values, and maintain my reputation.

You can build a reputation that commands respect by refusing to speak negatively of others in all circumstances—regardless of who is or isn’t present.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Graden's Award Day ~1st Grade~

Graden received several awards on "Award Day", and we are very, very proud of him!!!

Here is Graden smiling ever-so-handsomely as he waits for the assembly to begin...

Here is Graden receiving the "Accellerated Reader" award for earning the most points in his class in AR. Graden earned over 120 points!!! Yea Graden!

Graden just received the "Honor Club" award for earning all "A's" during the school year... "Amazing, Awesome, and Astonishing!"

Graden is receiving "Outstanding Student" for having the highest grades in his class...

We are so proud of him, and also so grateful to his teachers! He had a wonderful first grade teacher this year who was brilliant, she really went above and beyond with Graden. We were also blessed to have another teacher from the 3rd grade who worked with Graden this year as well, she was wonderful to Graden! There just aren't enough words to thank these women enough...

Graden and the rest of the award-winners in his class!!!

Gibson's Preschool Graduation!

Gibson recently graduated from preschool! He is very excited to begin "Big Boy School" and is looking forward to Kindergarten.

Here is Gibson walking down the aisle toward the graduation stage...

Here is Gibson receiving his "Preschool Diploma"...

Here is Gibson with his Daddy... They are so handsome!

Here is Gibson with his Mommy...